Edward P. Jones on Imagination versus Experience



Fall, The


Котлован Андрея Платонова

The Wandering Jews / Joseph Roth

Victory / Joseph Conrad

Khirbet Khizeh / S. Yizhar

“The Dead” / James Joyce

Joseph Roth

“The Eastern Jew looks to the West with a longing that it really doesn’t merit.”

“The Eastern Jewish laborer, in his love of work, his sober cast of thought, his quiet life, is comparable to the German.”

“Zionism and nationhood are by their nature Western European ideals, even if what they aspire towards may not be. Only in the East do people live who are unconcerned with their “nationality,” in the Western European sense. They speak several languages, are themselves the product of several generations of mixed marriages, and fatherland for them is whichever country happens to conscript them. The Armenians of the Caucasus were for a long time neither Russians nor Armenians; they were Muslims living in the Caucasus, and yet they furnished the czars of Russia with their most loyal bodyguards. Nationality is a Western concept. It was an invention of Western European scholars, who ever since have struggled to explain it.”

The Wandering Jews by Joseph Roth

Summer Many Things Happen

Dept. of Speculation / Jenny Offill



“Dear Ms. Ainsley” / Joel Streicker (Great Lakes Review)

The Adventures of Augie March / Saul Bellow
I’m almost done with this. I feel like Bellow mastered the art of making quick transitions. Well, “mastered the art” should be invented the art. It reminds me of barroom conversations from too intelligent drinkers.


Victory / Joseph Conrad

The Walk / Robert Walser, translated by Susan Bernofsky and Christopher Middleton

The Tsar of Love and Techno / Anthony Marra

Котлован Андрея Платонова
Наконец-то, я вернулся. Ой такой хороший освежающий романчик. Особенно такие кафкаеские вопросы насчет отвлечения на работе…


The Lazarus Project / Aleksandr Hemon
Hemon bares his struggles in his work. There’s something very endearing about this.

Istina, Pravda, Ostalgie

The job of the fiction writer is to invoke verisimilitude. Real and factual research helps, of course, but the purpose should be emotional. The more abstract truth comes from the deeper meanings of stories, factual or not. The factuality of this truth is usually taken for granted, and the primary sources need not speak for themselves, even if they want to.” Little Histories29hochschild-master768